Video surveillance to assess highway underpass use by elk in Arizona

  • Published source details Dodd N.I., Gagnon J.W., Manzo A. I. & Schweinsburg R.E. (2006) Video surveillance to assess highway underpass use by elk in Arizona. Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 637-645.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

    A study in 2002–2005 along a highway through riparian meadows in Arizona, USA (Dodd et al. 2006; same experimental set-up as Dodd et al. 2003) found that two open-span bridge underpasses, in areas with roadside ungulate-proof fencing, were used by Rocky Mountain elk Cervus canadensis nelsoni, with a more open, shorter underpass with natural sides being used most frequently. In total, 3,708 elk, in 1,266 groups, were recorded at the two underpasses (91% of all mammals recorded) with 2,612 elk in 905 groups passing through the underpasses. More elk groups passed through the shorter underpass (663 groups) than through the longer underpass (242 groups). Seven additional mammal species were recorded at the two underpasses (species not stated in paper). Two open-span bridge underpasses (<250 m apart), along the State Route 260 highway, were studied. Fencing, 2.4 m high, along 0.6 km of highway, funneled animals towards underpasses. Underpasses were monitored using four video cameras, in September 2002 to September 2005. The shorter underpass was 7 m high, 10 m wide and 53 m long, with open, natural sides. The longer underpass was 12 m high, 16 m wide and 111 m long, with concrete walls.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

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